Emirates Palace Becomes First Hotel in Middle East to Deploy Gigabit Wi-Fi
Prestigious Hotel Selects Aruba Networks' 802.11ac Solution to Boost Performance 24X
Commenting on his organization's decision to adopt the latest in wireless networking technologies, Mehmet Akdeniz, Director of IT and AV at Emirates Palace said, “We remain deeply committed to offering our guests a truly remarkable experience. When we noticed that guest usage of bandwidth-hungry mobile applications was becoming a norm, we committed to deploying a solution that would meet their high expectations for the next four to five years. This is why we opted for Aruba’s gigabit Wi-Fi solution.”
Guided by MDS UAE through a six-month selection period, Akdeniz and his team evaluated solutions from Aruba Networks along with other wireless networking vendors. Aruba stood out as offering the most suitable 802.11ac technology for Emirates Palace. The Aruba 802.11ac solution, which includes the Aruba 220 Series Access Points (http://www.arubanetworks.com/
Emirates Palace deployed an Aruba 7220 series Mobility Controller and over 1000 Aruba AP-225 wireless access points across the expansive property about two months period to avoid inconvenience to guests. The hotel also implemented Aruba's AirWave Network Management (http://www.arubanetworks.com/
Akdeniz said, “Having a highly regarded Aruba Platinum Partner carry out the implementation was a huge benefit to us. Even industry-leading technology is only as good as its implementation and MDS UAE ensured that the entire system was configured for optimal performance.”
While the most noticeable benefit of the new system was the increase in capacity from 54Mbps to 1.3Gbps, the centralized nature of the solution proved to be an appealing feature for the IT team. The Aruba 7220 series Mobility Controller has completely eliminated manual configuration of individual access points and has even automated software updates of all the Aruba 225 APs. Furthermore, with solution features such as white list co-ordination, valid AP lists, control plane security (CPsec) certificates and wireless intrusion detection and coordination, Emirates Palace has now achieved the highest level of security for its wireless network.
Through the controller's intuitive Graphical User Interface (GUI), administrators can make rapid changes to the network and its security settings. This has enabled a high degree of customization of the network which is required to meet the specific needs of each high-profile meeting and conference that the prestigious venue hosts. Akdeniz elaborated, “We no longer waste precious manpower tending to labor intensive processes. Everything is easily managed from one location and our newfound visibility into every element of the network has enabled proactive troubleshooting and thus, drastically improved our reaction time. Complaints about poor network performance have virtually disappeared and our business customers are often amazed to find how quickly we can accommodate their connectivity requirements.”
Akdeniz believes that the Aruba solution will now allow the hotel to deliver new features and capabilities to its guests. While the wireless infrastructure is currently used to support Internet services, point of sales and digital signage, the new network can allow a complete range of cutting-edge guest services. Emirates Palace already has plans under way to offer IPTV, online gaming for children, Internet music streaming and smart device-controlled operation of in-room entertainment. All of these services will rely heavily on the abundant availability of bandwidth - something that the Aruba Networks 802.11ac solution will provide for the foreseeable future.
“In the hospitality sector today, simply providing wireless is practically a given. But not all wireless is equal and this is something that our guests will be able to recognize instantly. We now have a solution that enables us to improve their experience in ways that they have not even considered as of yet. This is the kind of service excellence that Emirates Palace is synonymous with and we are happy to say that Aruba has been an enabler of our success,” concluded Akdeniz.